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Good Guy Hacker Launches ‘Security Without Borders’ to Defend At-Risk Dissidents

Some hackers have lost their way . Today, countless techies have entered the for-profit cybersecurity business, potentially neglecting what one security researcher calls their responsibility to civil society: helping at-risk users like dissidents with the security of their work, for example. To that end, Claudio Guarnieri, who has spent years analyzing cyberattacks against activists and journalists, has launched a new project tentatively titled ‘Security Without Borders’, which he hopes will more effectively connect white hat hackers with targeted groups and individuals . Guarnieri announced the project at the Chaos Communication Congress hacking festival in Hamburg on December 28. Civil society basically isn’t going to secure itself, Guarnieri told Motherboard in an interview . It’s not going to be able to build that kind of expertise that is required to actually face the issues and even understand the issues that exist. On the Security Without Borders website, visitors can click1 a Request Assistance button, which takes them through to a form asking for some basic information: their name, the type of work they do, and what sort of help they’re after . That might include a security assessment for a human rights defender, general advice, or maybe someone could send a suspicious link they are worried was part of an attempted attack against them. This message is then sent through to an internal communication platform that the group is using, Guarnieri told Motherboard.

Read more: The ‘Million Dollar Dissident’ Is a Magnet for Government Spyware2 At the moment, Security Without Borders is made up of between 20 and 30 people, Guarnieri said, including malware analysts, engineers, and system administrators. Some of us work in corporate security, some of us in academia, and some others in human rights organizations, the Security Without Borders website continues .

We want to dedicate some of our time to the betterment of global society. It’s early days, but the project already has a public mailing list3, and once people are trusted, they may be invited to work on more sensitive parts of the project, Guarnieri explained . A proposed idea is also creating a newsletter for at-risk groups about recent vulnerabilities or developments in cybersecurity; stuff that they might not always see unless someone presents it to them.

The idea is to create an external network of people that don’t necessarily want to abandon their career path in infosec, but they might be willing to volunteer some time, maybe help out anonymously, maybe not, Guarnieri said .

Our community needs to find again that political engagement.

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  1. ^ visitors can click (
  2. ^ The ‘Million Dollar Dissident’ Is a Magnet for Government Spyware (
  3. ^ a public mailing list (
  4. ^ by signing up for our newsletter (

Moment Sainsbury’s security guard attacked by man in row over …

An angry customer stormed behind a shop counter and attacked a security guard in a row over a driving licence. Police are hunting a smartly-dressed shopper after he grabbed the guard around the neck in a Sainsbury s1 Local store in Sutton2 last month. The suspect walked into the shop on High Street in Cheam3 at just after 4.30pm November 11 and showed his provisional driving licence to the shop worker when asked for ID.

But when the sales assistant refused to serve him, the man became agitated. Suspect: Police have released CCTV images of the man they want to speak to. (Met Police)

The security guard came over to look at the man s licence, but the suspect stormed behind the supermarket counter and grabbed the guard around the neck. The man snatched his licence and then fled, knocking a shelf onto the floor as he went.

Police have now released CCTV4 in the hunt for the attacker. He is described as a white man in his teens with short, brown hair wearing a white shirt, tie, dark trousers and black shoes. No one has yet been arrested, police said.

Anyone with information or any witnesses are urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Moment Sainsbury's Security Guard Attacked By Man In Row Over ...Reuse content5


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What security measures are in place in the UK over the festive period?

Following the deadly lorry attack at a Christmas market1 in Berlin, police forces across the UK are reviewing their security measures at large events during the festive period. In London, Scotland Yard said they will review its plans for protecting public events in the run up to Christmas and the New Year. There are several fairs across the capital during the festive season, including the Southbank Centre Christmas and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

More than 100,000 people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch London’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks. In a statement, the Met said: “These already recognise that the threat level is at ‘severe’, meaning an attack is highly likely, and have considered a range of threats, including the use of large vehicles.”

Greater Manchester Police have stepped up patrols2 at Manchester’s Christmas markets . The force said they had strengthened their presence at the markets, which have almost 350 stalls spread across 10 sites in the city. Assistant Chief Constable Debbie Ford from Greater Manchester Police said: “We will be working in line with the national response and have strengthened our policing presence at the Manchester Christmas Markets and stepped up visible patrols, to ensure that people feel safe to go about their daily lives.”

Sir Richard Leese Manchester City Council leader told ITV News: “In light of what happened yesterday, there is a heightened police presence in and around the market.”

Shoppers at the Christmas market told ITV News Correspondent Damon Green3 if they changed their behaviour, the terrorists have won.

West Midlands Police installed concrete barriers at Birmingham‘s Frankfurt Christmas Market as part of a number of security measures implemented in November. They were put up as a precaution and were not a result of new or specific intelligence, said Superintendent Andy Parsons. Police Scotland said there was no immediate evaluation of current plans that are in place to “ensure the safety of the public at a wide range of festive and major events”.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “There is no intelligence at this time to suggest a threat to any specific event in Scotland . Our policing presence and posture will be appropriate to the latest information and current threat.”

There are a number of fairs across Edinburgh, including the Scottish Market, the European Market and Children’s Market, which is part of Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens.

Glasgow holds a Christmas Market in St Enoch Square . The organisers said they were “deeply saddened” by the events in Berlin.

“As organisers of festive events we know the joy they bring . For this happiness to be so devastatingly interrupted is heartbreaking,” the Market Place Team said in a statement.

Huge crowds will be turning out to celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh on December 31, while other Scottish cities including Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stirling also have large organised celebrations. Other police forces said they would be reviewing safety measures, asking the public to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to police. A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: The festive season is a particularly busy time for the city and we would, as with any other time, ask people to remain vigilant .

There is a tried and tested policing plan in place to police our city to ensure residents and visitors feel safe.

The Foreign Office said there remained a “high threat from terrorism” in Germany while increased security at borders was disrupting travel between bordering countries, including Austria and Denmark.


  1. ^ deadly lorry attack at a Christmas market (
  2. ^ Greater Manchester Police have stepped up patrols (
  3. ^ Damon Green (